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Dumas'_Grrrl 06-04-2008 12:17 PM

Uggg.... Stone bruise...
Dumas is limping..... It is his left front foot. He is limping pretty bad. There is no heat or swelling anywhere in his leg. I picked out his foot and did find a couple rocks packed in mud. (it has been faithfully raining here like every 3-4 days.) I can't physically see anything wrong with his hoof. He was fine last night and was goofing off and trotting around last night and this morning when I went out to feed them I noticed he was limping.

Has anyone ever dealt with a stone bruise... What should I look for?
How long should it take to heal? The Farrier was out here 3 weeks ago and I do have a call in to her but have not heard anything yet.

I'm not sure what to be looking for .... Help!

appylover31803 06-04-2008 12:23 PM

SonnyWimps 06-04-2008 12:24 PM

How Stone Bruises Develop

Stone bruises generally are the product of your horse's environment. Traveling on hard, rocky ground can batter your horse's soles, especially if he's used to more manicured conditions. But a hard knock against a solid object - a fence rail or a tree root, for instance - can have the same effect.

So can shoes that are too small, or those equipped with caulks, grabs or trailers that alter the foot's natural flight path. Hooves that grow up and around a shoe that has been left on too long also can bruise, particularly if the shoe is loose and bangs on the sole with every step.

Certain types of feet seem to be more vulnerable to bruising than others. The classic battered hoof has a flat sole and thin walls - a conformational fault seen in many horses with thoroughbred breeding. A horse with soft feet - common on the wet and rainy West Coast of North America - may be likely to bruise if he's ridden on firmer ground, but a horse with hard, dry hooves also may be a bruising candidate because his foot has less natural 'give' than most. Small, upright feet, especially those designated clubfeet, can gather more than their fair share of bruises too.

Diagnosing Stone Bruises

So if a stone bruise isn't visible for a month or more, how do you diagnose a fresh bruise?

"Finding them is largely a matter of experience and gut instinct," says certified journeyman farrier Wes Goff of Canada. "A horse whose feet appear to be sensitive without any other obvious cause often has a stone bruise - and I suspect it especially if the horse has a flat foot or thin walls. I ask about his history too: where has he been ridden recently, and what has he been doing.

"I can usually differentiate a stone bruise from a brewing abscess by the feel of the sole. If it's soft, mushy or is carrying heat, or if the horse is very sore, I start thinking abscess,' while a stone bruise is more subtle," explains Goff.

Treating Stone Bruises

There's not much you can do to treat a sole bruise, says Goff, other than rest your horse if he's sore and take care not to ride him on punishing ground.

Generally the sensitivity will dissipate in a few days. But if you're in dire straits and need your horse sound immediately, you can consider using a sole-numbing paint, such as Sole Freeze, that will allow your horse to perform pain-free for a few hours. The active ingredient in these paints is phenol, which Goff says you can buy directly from any well-stocked drugstore. Because phenol is fairly corrosive to skin, however, you'll want to wear gloves when you apply it - and be sure to keep it securely capped and well out of the reach of children.

Protection and Prevention

If your horse seems prone to stone bruises it may be time to consider some shoeing changes to minimize the time he spends languishing in his stall instead of being ridden.

You may want to ask your farrier to remove less of the sole when he trims your horse. The result won't be as 'pretty,' but the callus left there "will leave him something to walk on," says Goff.

Wide-webbed shoes that cover more of your horse's feet are the next line of defense. If your horse's feet still appear sensitive you might outfit him with pads that cover the sole and protect him from the elements. In winter, when the ground can freeze into crippling spikes and craters where horses have walked pads can be very helpful - especially if they're the kind that also help keep snowballs from forming.

There are dozens of designs of hoof pads on the market, from basic leather, to various plastics, to amazing high-tech shock-absorbing pads that, while cleverly designed, are expensive and may provide so much flex that they cause shoes to pop off prematurely. Goff has had his best results with ordinary plastic pads that are affordable and easy to shape. A squirt of silicon packing underneath the pad helps 'seal' the area between the foot and pad and prevent thrush from sprouting in the damp places you can no longer reach with your hoof pick.

Finally, consider the role of nutrition in your horse's hoof health. If he has chronically thin soles and weak hoof walls he might benefit from getting a supplement containing biotin, methionine and/or zinc - nutrients that encourage good hoof horn growth. The results probably will be slow expect to wait 6 to 9 months to really notice a difference but the pay-off might be a horse with healthier feet.

Got that from

This one I find more interesting though don't know how true it is:
"Bruised sole (stone bruise). Lameness associated with bruising of the sole can be a sign of early laminitis, or it may due to the horse standing on something sharp like a stone. The possibility of laminitis being the cause should be eliminated before proceeding with any treatment. If the bruising is due to external trauma, gently shaving away some of the bruised area with a hoof knife will relieve the pain. In the anterior toe region, bruising can be caused by pressure from the inner surface of the shoe, requiring it to be bevelled. Bruising closer to the frog is a definite indication that laminitis could be developing"

Got that one from

Hope that helps a bit! Hope Dumas gets better

Dumas'_Grrrl 06-04-2008 01:45 PM

Thanks Girls! I appreciate the speedy answers! I have found my She is at home but on the phone I think... I feel like a stalker! :lol: But my poor baby is out there limping around and I know it hurts..............

I wish I could just see what is hurting him. :(

He got his first barefoot trim 3 weeks ago.
He coliced 2 weeks ago.
He got seriously spooked by that stupid turkey last week
(which btw was his first BIG ride here...about 4 miles).
And now he's come up lame.........Argh..........I just hate this part.......

appylover31803 06-04-2008 01:49 PM

aww poor Dumas!

Maybe if he was playing hard with Twister, he stubbed his hoof (is that even possible?) and now he's feeling a little sore

Dumas'_Grrrl 06-04-2008 02:22 PM

I talked to my farrier... She is on her way to Little Rock :(

She asked the same question. It is VERY possible that they were playing a little rough last nite. They were in very good moods earlier when we had them in the yard. They were friendly and loving and then they would pick at each other a little then go trotting off.....and stop and graze some more.. I even had both of them running with me.... well I was running they were almost in a canter... (almost in a canter sounds so much better than they were trotting...ha ha.. I'm old and slow) And then this morning its limp city...

Hopefully he will start feeling better soon... I would think that it has to feel a little better just getting the rock out.

My farrier just said that I should keep an eye on him and if it gets to be a really bad limp or he won't put any weight on it to call the vet.... Does that sound about right to you? My farrier will be here Monday morning.

This is them "playing" They both have a tendancy to rear....he may have come down on it wrong or on a rock...

appylover31803 06-04-2008 02:53 PM

Knowing from personal experience with an animal having a limp, i saw to wait before you call the vet. If it gets worse, definitely call them up, or if he isn't back to normal in x amount of days to call.

I just took my dog to the vet on monday because he was limping and not putting a lot of weight on his one foot. He was limping up until the vet came in, than it was gone :roll: And he's fine now, but it cost $137 to find out he was ok.

I'd keep an eye on it and see if there's any swelling or heat coming from it, and if possibly see if you could really examine the hoof.

barefoothooves 06-04-2008 04:30 PM

Sounds about right. Feet with a new trim or fresh out of shoes are a little easier to bruise than ones that are accustomed to the trim they are sporting. Also, intresting to note that pulling shoes in some horses can reveal a lot of damage that just needs to heal.

Shoes can slow healing and mask symptoms, so it's not impossible that an abscess is just now showing up thanks to increased circulation in the hoof since the shoe came off. It will run its course and the hoof will heal itself.

Most likely though it really is just a bruise. If it makes you feel any better to be "proactive" you can try soaking the sore tootsie in an Apple Cider Vinegar solution or Epsom Salts solution to help soothe the foot and if it IS an abscess, will help to draw it out.

Dumas'_Grrrl 06-04-2008 04:44 PM

My horses have not worn shoes for at least 1 1/2 years before I had them barefoot trimmed... They had their shoes pulled and were left to pasture for that year and a half without ANY farrierizing (hee.. new word) So the trim 3 weeks ago was the 1st time they had been trimmed in a very long while.

I talked to my hubby and last week when they went for their ride and the turkey spooked them... :roll: turns out that Dumas had gotten his reins caught around that same leg. I don't think this if from that incident....It surely would have shown up before now.

I think it is just a bruise.....I'll call the vet and ask a few questions before I go nutso and spend $200 just to find out that I need to leave him be for a week. :wink:

eta- I was wondering if the new trim could have something to do with this... The farrier said that they had wonderful feet and they had nice thick hoof walls and that the soles would now just need conditioning..........could the farrier have messed up ?

I am not real happy with how Twister's front hooves look right now...3 weeks into a barefoot trim and the toes of both front feet are chipping..........

barefoothooves 06-04-2008 05:18 PM

Well, good thick walls or not, that's a long time without any trims.

While I'm thinking there shouldn't have been any chipping already, you are in a rocky area (I grew up in Harrison/Green Forest, AR). Also, when feet are overgrown, a trimmer might be tempted to be more conservative in the trim initially to allow the foot time to adjust to the new trim and once the excess sole started coming out, that made the walls longer again, and easier to break off. Stay in a routine of trimming and the chipping should cease quickly. In fact, a shorter than normal schedule might be your best bet for the next couple of trims, to stop that chipping and get the foot back to where it needs to be.

Any foot can bruise when it hits a rock just right, even shod ones, so I doubt the trimmer was wrong in his assessment of the hooves. Again, not being trimmed for a while allowed the foot do set a certain way and any trim would change that and take some adjustment.

No biggie, just get them trimmed again in a few weeks, and the bruise or abscess will heal on it's own. (remember my tip to soak).

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